Whether you're just starting to consider relocating for another state or you've already planned the logistics of your interstate move, uprooting your life and settling down somewhere new can be as stressful as it is exciting. To help you decide where to move and get to know your know state, our Where To Move in 2021 guide explores the unique attributes of some of the most popular states people move to, including cost of living, climate and geography, employment, and cultural attractions.
1. Fast facts
Find out where the over 140,000 Americans who moved to Oregon in 2018 relocated from.
We've collected data on house prices, household income, and cost of living for Portland.
Compare the Beaver State's average temperature and precipitation against the national average.
Discover the best cities in the state for jobs and top industries in Oregon.
Learn about Oregon's's unique food and drink, arts and culture, outdoor activities, and sports.
|Total population: 4,217,737
Median age: 35.1
Largest city: Portland
Oregon is the 21st most popular state to move to, with over 140,000 Americans making the move to the Beaver State in 2018. Where exactly do all these new Oregonians come from?
2. Cost of Living in Oregon
*Cost of living data is not available at the state level. In this article, cost of living data is based on the largest city in the state.
The average home costs about 37.7% more in Portland compared to the rest of the country.
The cost of living is also higher in Portland—just over 8% higher than the national average. To offset the higher cost of living, the median household income is also slightly above the national median.
Here's how the cost of living in Portland breaks down:
Cost of Living
|Portland, OR||United States||Difference|
|Basic utilties (based on 915 sq ft apartment)||$114.64||$161.61||-41%|
|Food (per person, monthly)||$385.52||$343.43||+10.9%|
TAX TIP: Oregon does not charge sales tax, so the price you see is the price you’ll pay!
2. Oregon Climate and Geography
From the Coastal Mountain Range in the west to the Columbia Plateau in the east, the Beaver State is home to some of the nation’s most diverse geography, including sandy beaches and coastal cliffs, as well as mountain ranges and lowland areas.
Thanks to the state’s range in geographic formations, Oregon’s climate varies widely from west to east. The west is generally mild due to the moderating effect of the Pacific Ocean, but it also receives frequent precipitation from October to May. The eastern side of the state, protected by the Cascade Mountains, features less precipitation and a much greater range of temperature.
- Willamette Lowlands: Dissected by the Willamette River, these fertile lowlands stretch south from Portland about 175 miles.
- Cascade Mountains: East of the Willamette Lowlands, the Cascade Mountains are home to Mount Hood (Oregon’s highest point), as well as Crater Lake—America’s deepest lake (1,932 feet deep!)
- Columbia Plateau: Located in the eastern part of the state, the Columbia Plateau is characterized by deep, wide valleys and mountains.
4. Employment in Oregon
Oregon makes Forbes’ list of the best states in the country for business in the #20 spot, a few places below Nevada, with 1.7% job growth. This growth is projected to continue over the next five years, with Moody’s Analytics ranking the Beaver State as the seventh best in the nation.
Two cities made WalletHub’s list of the best cities for jobs, with Portland—the most populous city in the state—in the 58th spot with a score of 54.13, and Salem at 128 with a score of 49.49.
- THE GOOD: Household incomes are projected to grow faster than any other state over the next five years.
- THE BAD: Job opportunities are best in Portland and Salem—two of the most expensive cities in the state.
Top industries in Oregon include:
Major employers and corporations with headquarters in Oregon include:
- Nike—by revenue, Nike is three times larger than the next biggest Oregon-based company
- Columbia Sportswear
- Intel also has numerous campuses throughout the state
5. Oregon Culture and Entertainment
Oregon is one of the most environmentally-friendly states, with one of the lowest carbon footprints, and more Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified “green buildings” per capita than any other state.
Food and drink
Foodies will feel at home in the Beaver State. Willamette Valley supplies fresh produce and meat from local farms, and it’s also Oregon’s premier wine country, with over 700 wineries packed into just 150 square miles. Prefer a craft brew? Portland has more craft breweries than any other city in the world. If you’d rather feast on the treasures of the sea, Dungeness crab is local to the Oregon coast, with peak season starting a week after Thanksgiving.
Arts and culture
Oregon is a hotbed for arts and culture. Eugene was named to Rolling Stone’s list of America’s Top 10 College Music Scenes, and Portland is home to the most authentic—and largest—Japanese garden outside of Japan, as well as the largest new and used independent book store in the world. Powell’s City of Books actually spans an entire city block.
Bikers can breathe a sigh of relief in the Beaver State—Portland is consistently named as the most bike-friendly city in the country, with a large network of bike paths, as well as programs, communities, and clubs for cyclists.
If you aren’t a cyclist, head outdoors to Anthony Lake for the best powder skiing in the Northwest, or for a swim in Crater Lake—the deepest lake in the United States. And if that’s not enough, strap on your hiking shoes and explore the many mountain trails, or enjoy the 363 miles of breathtaking Pacific coastline.
Oregon does not have any pro sports teams, but college sports are popular. The Oregon Ducks are a much-beloved Division 1 football team hailing from the University of Oregon in Eugene.